The issue "Save Small Business From the CPSIA" is currently at 6th place on Change.org
and today is the last day to vote.
I wish I had known sooner about the voting deadline, as I would have blogged about this before now. But I didn't even find out about CPSIA until a week or so ago.
I want to make a note, that I do think the law is a good idea- in theory. I just think that, as it stands right now, the Act needs some re-working in order to prevent a lot of people from losing a small business that they've worked so hard to create. Isn't that the American Dream?
What is CPSIA, you ask?
Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act.
Sounds like a good thing... Safety First!
So, why did Congress just recently (August 2008) pass this act? Answers to this, and other questions, from the www.change.org website:
"In 2007, large toy manufacturers who outsource their production to China and other developing countries violated the public's trust. They were selling toys containing dangerously high lead content, unsafe small parts, and chemicals that made kids sick."
Hm, well yes. Something had to be done. So what's so bad about CPSIA?
"Among other things, the CPSIA bans lead and phthalates in children's products, mandates third party testing and certification, and requires manufacturers of all goods for children under the age of 12, to permanently label each item with a date and batch number."
Oh! Well that's a good thing. We don't want toys with lead laying just around and all.
But wait! There's more:
"All of these changes will be fairly easy for large, multinational companies to comply with. Large manufacturers who make thousands of units of each item have very little incremental cost to pay for testing and updating their systems to include batch labels. Small businesses however, will likely be driven out of business by the costs of mandatory testing, to the tune of as much as $4,000 or more per item. And the few larger manufacturers who still employ workers in the United States face increased costs to comply with the CPSIA, even though American-made toys had nothing to do with the toy safety problems of 2007.
Anyone who produces or sells any of the following new or used items will be required to comply with the law: toys, books, clothing, art, educational supplies, materials for the learning disabled, bicycles, and more. Any uncertified item intended for children under the age of 12 will be considered contraband after February 10, 2009. It will be illegal to sell or give these items away to charities, and the government will require their destruction or permanent disposal, resulting in millions of tons of unnecessary waste, and placing an enormous strain on our landfills."
The website www.Etsy.com, which sells only handmade goods, has an entire forum dedicated to CPSIA discussion:
since there are many people in the Etsy handmade community who sell handmade items for children, including clothes, accessories, toys, art, etc.
Some people who've written to their representatives have been told that the bill will have a provision providing exemption for One Of A Kind items. Let's hope they're right!